The Day I Swapped My Dad for Two Goldfish

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Overview

What if you wanted your best friend's two goldfish so much that you'd swap anything for them, even your father? What if your mother came home and found out what you'd done?

The Day I Swapped My Dad for Two Goldfish is a hilarious adventure and was the first book for younger readers from the acclaimed author and illustrator of the New York Times bestsellers The Wolves in the Walls and Coraline. Chosen as one of Newsweek magazine's Best Children's Books of the Year, The Day I ...

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Overview

What if you wanted your best friend's two goldfish so much that you'd swap anything for them, even your father? What if your mother came home and found out what you'd done?

The Day I Swapped My Dad for Two Goldfish is a hilarious adventure and was the first book for younger readers from the acclaimed author and illustrator of the New York Times bestsellers The Wolves in the Walls and Coraline. Chosen as one of Newsweek magazine's Best Children's Books of the Year, The Day I Swapped My Dad for Two Goldfish is beloved by readers of all ages. This new edition features brand-new jacket art and an afterword by the author on the origins of this unique and wonderfully funny story.

After trading his father for two goldfish, a boy and his little sister go on a rollicking adventure around town to get him back.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Neil Gaiman's wry The Day I Swapped My Dad for Two Goldfish, illus. by Dave McKean, returns in a new edition that includes Gaiman's narration on an included CD, as well as new cover art and an afterword by the author. PW said this tale of a boy who trades away his father is "[an] energetic, eye-catching volume." Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
This slightly revised book first published by White Wolf in 1997, features a larger trim size, new jacket, newly designed front matter, and a letter from Gaiman telling readers where he got his idea for this loopy story. Using some of the same eye-commanding illustrative style to suit an offbeat story the pair used so successfully in The Wolves in the Walls, this one tells what happens when a boy trades his dad for two very nice goldfish. Mom, however, is not pleased and says he and his sister can go across the street and get his dad back right now. But alas, Nathan across the street has traded Dad for a cool guitar. So in a long chain reaction reminiscent of folktales, and with his sister sniping from the sidelines, he gives back the fish, trades the guitar for a gorilla mask, trades the mask, for a huge pet rabbit named Galveston (yes, in the afterword, Gaiman explains why), and finally swaps for Dad. Deadpan humor abounds, and no one thinks this is bizarre, including Dad who is found in the rabbit hutch still reading his paper, the boring event being the one that triggered the boy's trade in the first place. McKean's artwork is often applied to a painted backdrop in which newspaper print leaks through a bit, the inked over line art is dead on, and edgily realistic, the hand-lettered text makes the book look like a junior graphic novel, and the total package just demands to be looked at. The often dark interiors of the book and the conversation balloons make this more easily read close-up but the story pattern is timeless. This is one book that's guaranteed to be spotted by boys, reluctant readers, would-be artists, and teen siblings who recognize Gaiman, McKean, and the"Sandman" series. 2004 (orig. 1997), HarperCollins, Ages 5 to 9.
—Susan Hepler, Ph.D.
Washington Post
“McKean is in peak form here, with dark, spiky graphics that somehow manage to convey both sweetness and menace.”
The Washington Missourian
“Leave it to Neil Gaiman to write a zany tale that’s swimmingly good.”
Time Out New York Kids
“Delightful.”
The Guardian (UK)
“A bittersweet, guffaw-out-loud story from the most distinctive partnership in picture books today.”
The Guardian(UK)
"A bittersweet, guffaw-out-loud story from the most distinctive partnership in picture books today."
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780060587017
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 8/31/2004
  • Edition description: New afterward by author
  • Pages: 64
  • Sales rank: 520,972
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 10.00 (w) x 10.00 (h) x 0.25 (d)

Meet the Author

Neil Gaiman

Neil Gaiman is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of more than twenty books for readers of all ages, and the recipient of numerous literary awards, including the Shirley Jackson Award and the Locus Award for Best Novelette for his story "The Truth Is a Cave in the Black Mountains." Originally from England, he now lives in America.

Dave McKean is best known for his work on Neil Gaiman's Sandman series of graphic novels and for his CD covers for musicians from Tori Amos to Alice Cooper. He also illustrated Neil Gaiman's picture books The Day I Swapped My Dad for Two Goldfish, The Wolves in the Walls, and Crazy Hair. He is a cult figure in the comic book world, and is also a photographer.

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    1. Hometown:
      Minneapolis, Minnesota
    1. Date of Birth:
      November 10, 1960
    2. Place of Birth:
      Portchester, England
    1. Education:
      Attended Ardingly College Junior School, 1970-74, and Whitgift School, 1974-77
    2. Website:

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 10 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 10 Customer Reviews
  • Posted May 7, 2009

    Just for fun

    This is just a funny little story about two kids out to get their dad back. It's entertaining and frivolous. This is the kind of book you could read over and over again because getting through the story is the fun part.The illustration also add to the fun.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 16, 2008

    Imaginative Story

    My six year old son loved the silliness of this story and all the various locations the story took us to. Fun for both the parent and the child to read!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted October 28, 2008

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    Posted October 26, 2008

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    Posted October 18, 2009

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